Frederick announced in the statement that the school would be implementing new policies moving forward. He also confirmed that a previous investigation revealed several employees received grants and discounts that exceeded the cost of tuition and kept the difference.
Howard's student newspaper The Hilltop reported that, in a follow up statement released later that day, Fredrick acknowledged frustrations about the incident.
“Hearing about the mishandling of funds at the University can be difficult to process. I can also understand how upsetting it is to feel that the University has not communicated with you regarding this incident,” Fredrick said. “The goal established at the onset of this investigation was to conduct it in a confidential manner that ensured a through examination of these issues without jeopardizing the integrity of the findings. However, that does not mitigate the sense of mistrust that many students and members of our community feel right now.”
Hankerson, who received his bachelors degree from the school and is a current graduate student there, released a statement Thursday through his attorney, writing, “I have done nothing illegal or wrong.”
On Thursday, the Howard University Student Association issued a statement to students in response to the news. The group also outlined questions about the alleged embezzlement, if the alleged embezzlement had been reported to authorities, and steps the university plans to take to reconcile student's accounts that may have been affected by the alleged incidents.
"What this ordeal has revealed about the administration only confirms what many students have long suspected -- the leaders of our university are opponents of transparency and shared governance," the statement said.
When news of the scandal hit the internet, many flocked to Twitter to express their thoughts. Several found the story baffling; some posted photos of the Hankerson in what appeared to be designer clothing.